Review: McMenamins Phil Hazelnut Liqueur
Craft Frangelico? You better believe it. Our pals at the Northwest brewpub/restaurant/microdistillers McMenamins churn out a small amount of this hazelnut spirit, called Phil. (Filbert? Get it?)
Phil is made from unaged wheat whiskey that’s infused with Oregon hazelnuts. Bottled at 60 proof, it’s considerably stronger than both Frangelico and Fratello, both of which are bottled at 40 proof.
And what’s not to like here? Phil has big, authentic hazelnut notes, with subtle notes of vanilla and milk chocolate. Almost any essence of the base spirit is completely overpowered by the hazelnut character, just the mildest hint of cereal amid the notes of pure hazelnut. The slightly higher alcohol level helps to clarify the nutty notes and saves Phil from delving too deeply into sugary sweetness.
Feel free to drop this in your coffee, your kicked-up White Russian, or your Nutty Irishman. You don’t have to tell anyone what the spirit is called.
A- / $18 (375ml) / mcmenamins.com
sad to say but I doubt many people outside the PNW or the west coast will get the filbert reference. For a California guy you sure do hit the portland local scene an awful lot.
Also I’ve been out to a couple of their shops, specifically edgefield and a kennedy school and neither had the 375ml size in stock. They did have the 750ml size for around $29-35 but the last time I saw the 375 they were bundled into a $60 christmas three pack.